Vol. 5, Issue 6 (2017)
Transesterification process optimization for tung oil methyl ester (Aleurites fordii) and characterization of fuel as a substitute for diesel
Author(s): Ajit Kaur, Madhuka Roy and Krishnendu Kundu
Abstract: Biodiesel is the best substitute for fossil fuels in this modern era of Renewable energy. This research paper is based on usage of Tung (Aleurites fordii) oil for biodiesel production, optimization of transesterification process parameters to produce Tung oil methyl ester (TOME) and its fuel characterization for performance in engines. The various experimental factors like concentration of catalyst, alcohol to oil molar ratio, time for reaction etc. were studied to optimize the process to get maximum recovery of the biodiesel with minimum possible viscosity. In this study, it was found that the tung oil produced maximum ester recovery at optimal experimental conditions of 5:1 methanol to oil molar ratio in presence of 2% concentration of KOH as catalyst, maintaining a temperature of 60 °C during the reaction for a period of 45 minutes. Lowest possible kinematic viscosity 4.54 with ester recovery 94% was obtained at this set of conditions. Various fuel properties of the produced tung oil methyl ester and crude tung oil were also measured. Results show that the methyl ester of tung oil obtained under the optimum condition is an excellent substitute for fossil fuels.